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UK retailer waste down by half

December 6, 2010 at 1:59 pm

There was some good news for the retail sector recently when it was revealed that retailers in the UK have reduced the amount of waste they are sending to landfill by half over the past five years.

The figures were released by the BRC (British Retail Consortium) in a report entitled ‘A Better Retailing Climate Progress Report 2010’. The main findings in the report were that supermarkets are now only sending 23% of their waste to landfill compared to 48% back in 2005.

This represents 1.2 million tonnes of packaging and food waste that have been saved over a five-year period.

The companies questioned for the report represent nearly half of UK retail in terms of market value, so the results are seen as very promising. In addition to the cut in waste, the report also revealed that the UK retail sector has managed to cut down on energy emissions and CO2 emissions from transport by an impressive 18%.

The director general of the BRC, Stephen Robertson, said that these are “remarkable achievements” which “show their commitment to tackling climate change has not wavered, despite the tough trading conditions”.

The overall aim for retailers is to reduce their packaging where possible, to use more materials that can be recycled and to inform their customers about which packaging is recyclable and which isn’t.

This is all down to the voluntary Courtauld agreement that was set up in 2005, where a number of targets were set for the retail industry in terms of packaging and recycling, some of which have already been reached.

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